• Alternative Options to a Total Knee Replacement

    MRI Knee 6

    Injury or disease that greatly impairs the function of the knee can be devastating to your quality of life. In many cases, total knee replacement surgery is the best treatment option. However, if you are apprehensive about surgery or your orthopaedic surgeon believes it’s not the best option for you, there are alternative treatment methods. They include:

    Synvisc Injections: If osteoarthritis is the cause of your knee pain, Synvisc shots may be right for you. These injections are comprised of a natural substance that mimics joint fluid and provides a cushion around the bones. Many patients notice significant pain relief about a month after their first injection, and relief can last as long as six months before another shot is needed. 

    Carticel: If your knee pain is the result of an injury, Carticel could be a wonderful option. This revolutionary treatment uses your very own cultured cells to repair knee injuries . You may still require minor knee surgery to prepare the area for healing, but the surgery will be decidedly less extensive than total knee replacement.

    Physical Therapy: Some knee conditions may respond well to physical therapy under the observation of an orthopaedic doctor. In some cases, physical therapy can bring total rehabilitation. In other cases, physical therapy may allow you to regain enough use of your knee to be able to delay total knee replacement for many years.

    Since every situation is unique and each of these alternatives works best on different types of cases, it’s important to talk with your orthopaedic surgeon in detail. Be sure to ask questions and discuss your concerns so that you have a full understanding of your options and the individual risks of each.

    For more information about knee replacement options, or if you need an orthopaedic doctor, contact Joliet’s MK Orthopaedics. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Call (815) 741-6900 to schedule your appointment today or to learn more about our doctors and services .

  • A Quick Guide to Knee Replacement Surgery

    Knee medical exam

    Patients with severe knee pain caused by osteoarthritis are often good candidates for knee replacement surgery, especially if their symptoms have not been improved by medication, physical therapy, or exercise. This surgical procedure replaces the ends of the thigh and shin bones in the damaged joint, creating new artificial joint surfaces.

    Before surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon will select the most appropriate implants for the procedure, depending on whether it will involve total joint replacement or unicompartmental (partial) replacement. The implants will include a femoral (thigh bone) component, a plastic spacer, and a tibial (shin bone) component. The doctor will remove the damaged cartilage, reshape the ends of the femur and tibia to accommodate the implant components, and then secure the knee joint implants with cement. Some implants may require screws or pegs for better stabilization. Following surgery, rehabilitation will be necessary in order to resume daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and sitting and standing. Orthopaedic doctors often recommend physical therapy and exercise to strengthen the leg muscles.

    If you are suffering from advanced osteoarthritis and believe you may benefit from knee replacement surgery, contact the orthopaedic surgeons at MK Orthopaedics today. Call our office at (815) 741-6900 for access to top orthopaedic care in the Joliet area.

  • What Is Osteoporosis?

    Osteoporosis is a thinning and weakening of the bones that makes them more susceptible to breaking. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, as many as 57 million Americans are affected by low bone mass. Watch this video to learn more about this condition and whether you are at risk.

    As this clip explains, osteoporosis is most common among postmenopausal women but can also affect some older men. Because the body’s ability to increase bone mass slows down with age, sometime during your 40s or 50s, you will begin to lose more bone mass than your body produces. This gradual weakening of the bones makes them fragile and brittle, often leading to breaks and fractures of the hips, spine, and wrists. Some early signs of osteoporosis include shortened height and curvature of the spine. For information about common risk factors for men and women, be sure to watch this full video.

    At MK Orthopaedics, our doctors are devoted to helping our patients live active, pain-free lives, thanks to effective orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation. Call our Joliet office at (815) 741-6900 to schedule an appointment to discuss your risk for osteoporosis.

  • Lifestyle Changes to Help You Manage Arthritis Pain

    Back Exercise Group

    Arthritis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the joints that often worsens with age. Osteoarthritis can be attributed to deterioration of the bones’ protective cartilage and wear and tear of the joints, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Fortunately, the symptoms of these common types of arthritis can be managed with some simple lifestyle changes. Consider the following advice and consult your orthopaedic doctor about how to take control of your arthritis pain.

    Exercise Regularly

    Because arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and soreness that can be exacerbated by movement, many sufferers are reluctant to engage in physical activity. Though it may be painful at first, exercise is crucial to improving range of motion, joint mobility, lean muscle development, flexibility, and strength—all of which can lessen symptoms and improve your condition. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight, and losing excess pounds will relieve pressure on the joints. Your orthopaedic doctor will likely recommend low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and lifting light weights.

    Eat a Healthy Diet

    Improving your diet will not only help you manage arthritis pain, but also benefit your overall health. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a must for any healthy diet because they provide important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Dark green or orange vegetables are recommended, including spinach, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, and squash. Brightly colored fruits like oranges, blueberries, and cherries are also healthy additions. Daily meals should include whole grains, calcium-rich dairy products, and lean proteins. Chicken, fish, and dried beans or peas are all good sources of low-fat protein.

    Take Supplements as Needed

    There is no solid evidence to support that supplements greatly improve arthritis pain; however, if your diet does not provide all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs, your doctor may recommend supplements. Glucosamine, bromelain, and essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 are believed to reduce inflammation and help lubricate joints. Always consult your doctor before starting a supplement regimen.

    For more information about how you can control and prevent arthritis pain , contact MK Orthopaedics of Joliet today. Visit our website or call us at (815) 741-6900 to see how our orthopaedic and sports medicine specialists set the standard of excellence for rehabilitative care.